Sight Seeing in America- Where the World Melts Away

If you were to go to the four corner points of America, you could not find four more different places from one another. From the coast of Maine to the tip of California to the rocky shores of Washington State with its active volcanoes and nonstop fog to the Caribbean like atmosphere of Florida, the cultures of the many areas of America are as diverse as are it’s people.

Of all of those places, none other is quite as exotic as sunny Florida. As soon as you step off the airplane in Miami, you know you have landed in a place that is as different from the rest of America as the moon is from the earth. There is a feel of being far away, where the world melts away and you can give in and be a Caribbean creature for a little while.

This is what is glorious about sightseeing in America. There are so many exotic and very different locations that you can stay in one country and virtually see and experience almost every climate and environment in the world. Florida brings you into the exotic feel of living on a desert island far away from civilization. But then you can get up from the beach and within a short drive be in the middle of a modern, sophisticated city full of the most exciting nightlife in the world.

You can go on dozens of vacations to sightsee in America and not repeat an experience. But when making your list of great sightseeing spots in America to visit, make sure Florida is near the top. And while you are at it, plan to spend some time there because there is a lot to take in including…

  • Snorkeling in the warm clear gulf waters on one side of the Florida peninsula and in the ocean waters on the other.
  • The amazing theme parks of Disney, Universal Studios, Busch Gardens and many more.
  • Ancient mansions up and down the beaches of Florida from the early days when Spanish ships landed here to discover this big new world.
  • Wonderful foods from Cuba, the Caribbean and all across South America.
  • The always unforgettable Everglades that seem like a trip to the Jurassic Period during your brief tour there.

The fun goes on and on. One thing is for sure, you will have at least one new experience each and every time you do some sightseeing in Florida. One time you may thrill to the sight of dolphins or a whale on a whale watching tour. The next time you may go deep sea fishing so far out to sea that the land disappears entirely.

The next visit you may become completely fascinated in the history of this very unique peninsula and the role it has had to play in the development of America. And then the next time you may just want to lie on the virtually perfect sands on the gulf side and let the cares of the world drift away.

You talk about sights you have never seen before. What about the sight of your family becoming carefree and full of fun as they literally transform into Caribbean natives wanting nothing more than to frolic in the waters of the gulf or ocean for as long as God lets the good sun shine down on them? And when you see that family you love reach that perfect level of relaxation that a visit to Florida can give them, you know you will have chosen well your vacation destination for that year.

Keeping Lives Safe on the Road

Accidents do happen unexpectedly, but they can be avoided.

However, despite the fact that a lot of people are trying their best to avoid it, still, many are in danger in the road while traveling. They will never know when an accident will take place. In fact, it seems that the number of people who gets into accidents while traveling is continuously growing.

In 2003 alone, statistics show that over 6 million car accidents have been reported in the United States, and in those accidents about 2.9 million were injured and 42, 643 people were killed. That is, indeed, a very alarming figure considering the fact that the campaigns about driving safely and avoiding road accidents are in full force.

So, where does the problem lies? Is it on the driver, the car manufacturer, the government, or is it fate for most people who get into accidents? In reality, nobody can really tell who to blame. The only choice people have is to continue driving safely and avoid accidents.

However, in the event that accidents happen, the only way to solve the mishap is to deal with it. Here’s how:

  1. Emergency numbers in one’s mobile phone are extremely important.

People just don’t realize this yet, but the emergency numbers stored in their mobile phones are vital to one’s life, especially when away from home or while traveling.

Surveys show that people who usually survive in accidents are those who were attended to immediately by health experts. This goes to show that immediate actions are important so as to save people who have met accidents.

  1. Panic is the number one killer in an accident.

The reason why many people do not survive in an accident is because they tend to panic first. They get so panic-stricken that they can no longer clear their mind and think of ways how to deal with the dilemma. That is why it is extremely important to stay calm when accidents and happen and think of ways how to solve the problem.

  1. Prevention is still the number one remedy.

Today, car accidents are currently the top most causes of death, usually within the age bracket of 1 to 37. Hence, the majority of the drivers, who are prone to accidents, are young. Usually the causes of accidents in young people are speeding, reckless driving, not wearing seatbelts, and drunk driving.

And so, it is important to observe traffic rules and regulations so as to prevent road accidents while traveling. As they say, an ounce of prevention is better than a pound of cure.

Best Travel Destinations

If you are planning to take a vacation, be sure to know what you really like to do, this will make your trip more meaningful. Mostly, travelers go for a trip that their friends recommend, but is it what they really want? It’s never too early to plan and know what your heart desires.

It’s nice to ask yourself these questions before starting to plan your vacation; do I want to relax? Do I want adventure or a learning experience? Do I want to get away from my job? Once you know the answers to these questions, then you are ready to plan your trip.

Vacations are needed for our emotional, physical and mental balance. Vacations give a person a chance to relax, renew his energy, and free him from his daily routine. Vacations could be far away or close to home. Wherever the vacation may be, it does the same thing. It is the satisfaction that is more important than the destination.

Generally, there are some different types of travel according to activities involved. Here are some of them:

  1. Responsible Travel. Traveling doesn’t always have to be self-serving. With responsible travel, one could have enjoyment as much as respecting the local environment and the people.
  2. Rediscovering nature. Rediscovering travel is all about nature and everything in it. It revitalizes the soul while smelling and feeling nature.
  3. Tribal cultures. In today’s world of high technology, it is wise to experience the simpler life of the tribal people who live close to nature in the same way for the past thousands of years.
  4. Responsible Diving. Diving not only let travelers appreciate what is down the sea but also making the traveler more aware of the conservation effort.

The country one is planning to travel to also leaves a great mark on the traveler’s diary. Here are some of the most popular destinations today:

  1. Thailand. Thailand is also known as Siam. It is an Asian country bounded by Burma, Laos, Cambodia, and Malaysia. Behind the back draft of Thailand’s jungles of bamboo, rubber trees and vines are the Five-star hotels of modern conveniences. In some parts of the country, elephants are still being use to lift timbers and buffalos are still being use in farming.
  2. China. China is now the second largest country and fastest growing economy in the world. Most parts of China are still unexplored by tourist; however, the eastern portion is now popular to western tourist. First class hotels now offer highest class of amenities and dozens are still being built/
  3. Italy. Italy is a boot-like shape country bounded by Switzerland, Austria, France, and Slovenia. The main attraction of Italy is St. Peter’s Square where the Pope resides.
  4. Caribbean. Caribbean is an archipelago of islands, 2000 square miles across. Most of the islands are plateaus and eruptions of underlying mountain systems. It has nice beaches of crushed coral and white or pink sand and the water at the shore is a deep blue.

The success of any vacation will not depend by how much the traveler spent or its destination. It is how the traveler enjoyed it and how he was able to achieve his primary goal of “getting away from it all.”

Earn Free Flights with an Airline Credit Card Offer

In this day and age, we are always traveling. Whether on a business trip, visiting home for the holidays, or you just want to go on vacation, planning and funding the flight is always a headache. That is why most major banks and other credit card issuers now offer Airline Credit Cards.

Airline Credit Cards provide the usual services of regular credit cards to make life a little easier. Not only is having an Airline Credit Card convenient, it is almost a requirement for anyone who is traveling. Come home with the perfect souvenir for everyone so that they can experience your trip as well! You never know when you will need emergency funds if you are in a foreign country!

Well known credit card issuers such as Visa, MasterCard, Discover, and American Express offer great plans on various airline credit cards. When researching which card is perfect for you, make sure that you take advantage of special offers that each one introduces to you such as 0% APR, reward plans, low rates on balance transfers and any other bonuses that will suit you.

Usually, airline credit cards allow you to collect points through time and use of the card at various locations. These points can then be redeemed for airmiles, or other traveling rewards such as hotel accommodation, travel insurance, cruises, and car rentals. Search carefully and you will find that some even offer double points! You could also take advantage of offers like free first class upgrades or free companion airfare.

When choosing an airline credit card, you can either get a credit card from your favorite airline or you can get a credit card with flexible rewards.  An airline branded credit card usually has a great rewards program, but is limited to only that airline.  A flexible rewards credit card can earn you trips on any airline with no blackout dates.  

Even if you don’t have a trip planned for anytime soon, make sure that you take advantage of these special Airline Credit Cards now. Earn points on your everyday purchases now.

Bed and Breakfasts

Using a bed and breakfast rather than a hotel will be an experience like never before. The attention to detail and the service you will receive from the bed and breakfast owners will be second to none. Not only that, but it is likely to be much more personal and relaxed than a busy hotel set in the middle of the action.

Bed and breakfasts are everywhere, they are on the outskirts of popular towns and cities and some of them are right in the thick of the action. Bed and breakfasts were once considered a last resort, now people go on holiday and book bed and breakfasts rather than hotels for the level of service they get. People often used bed and breakfasts as they were easy to find a room at the last notice. However nowadays, you are much more likely to have to book in advance, especially if you are holidaying in a very popular area.

The majority of bed and breakfasts all over the world are usually small and extremely cozy. They are also privately owned possibly run by a family, the business may have been passed on down in the generations. The owners usually live in the bed and breakfasts themselves so you always have someone to talk to should you come across any problems. The owner of where you are staying will also be a fountain of knowledge. The owners will more than likely be up to date with all the latest tourist attractions. The hallway or the reception will have many leaflets with information about local attractions.

The bed and breakfast industry is massive and although cannot completely take over from hotels, it certainly rivals the best hotels in the area. Some people prefer the personal service of a bed and breakfast, whereas some prefer the hustle and bustle of a busy hotel instead. That is why there will always be a need for both bed and breakfasts and hotels equally.

Some owners now have moved on in the times and have websites to showcase their establishment. You only have to type in ‘bed and breakfast’ into a popular search engine and there will be millions of results sent back to you. There will be photographs of the bedrooms and the dining rooms and outside of the bed and breakfast. Search online today to see some of the amazing people and the amazing businesses that are available to visit wherever you are from or travelling to.

Bed and breakfasts tend to be cheaper than hotels and this is another reason why they have become so popular now. You will also get breakfast included with your stay, something which you normally have to pay extra for at hotels. At bed and breakfasts you will get a brilliant service, great home cooked food, and all for a lesser price than a hotel room.

The bed and breakfast business is booming and it will continue to do so. The rise of the bed and breakfasts will always be on the up and up, especially as more people realize the charm and the brilliance of the people who run them.

14 Tips For a Stress Free Flight

Traveling can be a stressful event and airplane travel is tops on the list of the stressors that we experience on what is supposed to be an exciting and fun event. A few simple steps can remove most of the stress of air travel.

Things to do before travel day:

1) Pack your bags. Make sure all your packing is done at least the night before and that you have all your bags in one central location for easy and complete loading into your car or taxi.
2) Have all your travel paperwork organized and in one central location.
3) Make a checklist of all the things you want to check to secure your home before you leave and walk through your home checking off each item. Do this at least an hour before you leave your house. Do this and you will never worry if you left your stove on or any of the other little nagging worries you might have while on your travel.
4) Be sure your pets are taken care of. Make any kennel reservations well in advance of your trip to be sure you have a reserved spot at a kennel you trust.
5) Call the AIRPORT and airline the day before to see how early the recommend you should arrive for a smooth, stress free check in. If they tell you to arrive three hours early and you arrive just 30 minutes early, you will probably feel great stresses about missing your flight. Also ask if there are any parking restrictions you should be aware of. Ever since 9/11, when we have a heightened threat level there may be car searches before you can park.
6) If you are just taking carry on luggage, many airlines let you pre check in right on the internet 24 hours before your flight. That means that you can get and print out boarding passes right from your home. And when you get to the airport, you can go right to the gate and your boarding area without getting into the long check in line. If you have to check baggage, you will not have this option available to you. But if not, it is a great time and stress saver.

Travel day:

7) Leave home in plenty of time to anticipate busy traffic or accident situations. If it is an hour trip to get to the airport, you may want to leave an extra half hour early just in case there are road problems.
8) If you are checking in bags, be prepared to wait in line. If it is a busy time of day at the airport and you are traveling with a popular airline, there could be a significant line. Don’t worry about how long the line is. As long as you arrive when the airport recommended, you will have plenty of time to make it to the front of the line and get checked in. It may look impossible but it will happen so just relax and be patient.
9) Make sure that any “carry on” baggage really is carry on. Otherwise you may get stopped at the gate and have your bag taken away to be stowed with the regular luggage. It will delay and stress you. And it will delay everyone else.
10) When boarding the plane, find your seat and stow your carry on baggage quickly. And then sit down and stay out of the way. There are lots of people trying to do the same thing and we’ve all encountered the folks who block the aisle for a long time fussing about something or other while a harried line of boarders is forced to wait. You don’t want to be one of those people. So just get your business done quickly and efficiently and sit down. You’ll have plenty of time to get up once the plane is in the air.
11) If you have to change planes, it can be a real challenge, especially in the larger airports. If you know the gate you will have to go to, ask the flight attendant for advice to reach that gate quickly. In some airports – like Atlanta – a Delta connection can be a huge adventure taking 30 minutes to get from one gate to another. If you know in advance how you have to get to your next airplane, it will be much less chaotic when you get off the first plane. And a much more relaxing walk (or run) to your next gate.
12) When the plane lands, patiently wait your turn. Whether you push or just wait, you usually won’t get off the plane any quicker. People tend to let the folks in the rows before them get up and go in a pretty orderly fashion. Trying to rush it will only get your blood pressure up and will not be looked upon favorably by your fellow travelers.
13) If you just have carry on baggage, you have successfully completed a pretty stress free flight.
14) But if you have carry on luggage, there is one more step – waiting for the luggage. Just pick a place around the conveyor belt and wait. Expect your bag to be the very last one to come out and be pleasantly surprised when it comes out early.

By following these simple steps, you will find that your stress levels from your air travels will be much less. A well planned trip agenda ensures that those little stress points stay little stress points and don’t balloon into a full blown crisis. Try it any you will be amazed how just a small amount of up front planning dramatically improves the enjoyment of your travel.

Are Travel Agents Obsolete?

It seems you cannot watch television for more than an hour without seeing an advertisement with William Shatner talking about Travelocity or that silly gnome talking about Orbitz.  These travel web sites have been very successful at facilitating travelers to book their own airline and hotel reservations online.  So with this huge push from the internet to take over the travel industry, one has to ask, “Are travel agents obsolete?”

If you have browsed some of these travel sites, you have observed that they are amazing in the diversity of travel options that they make available.  And it is impossible to deny that many thousands of people have taken advantage of these services.  As a business traveler, however, your needs are somewhat different than the typical airline passenger.

There are some very specific services that a living and breathing travel agent can provide that simply cannot be replicated by an automated web site like Travelocity or Orbitz.   Some of those services that a seasoned business traveler would be hard pressed to live without include…

  • Focus.  You as a business traveler are not arranging this trip for entertainment.  You have specific business objectives in mind.  So if you must take time away from preparation for  your business task to worry about travel itineraries, hotel and rental car reservations and the like, that is time that you are not being productive for your business.  If you can call a talented travel agent who knows your travel profile well and delegate those arrangements to that agent, they do their job in finding just the right accommodations for you and you are freed to do what you do best, focus on your business and the upcoming business trip.
  • Economy.  It is difficult to find that balance between finding the accommodations that fit the demanding schedule of a businessperson on the road and is respectful of the companies travel budget as well.   If you use an automated online travel service, you may have to sacrifice convenience, schedule or location for economy.  A good travel agent will work hard to get you the right itinerary while getting as close the corporate travel cost restrictions as possible.  And they will do it without taking up a lot of your time.
  • Back up.  You don’t need help if your trip goes completely as planned.  But if you encounter problems on the road, you can find yourself in need or rescheduling flights and finding new accommodations to work around canceled flights, weather issues or other unexpected interruptions to your plans.  These travel disasters are not mindful of your tight deadlines to meet your business goals.  But if you have a travel agent who is dedicated to providing you service, he or she can find those alternative routes and resources to do all they can to get you to your destination so you can conduct your business on time.
  • That personal touch.  You may have travel preferences that you want to achieve with each trip you take.   A travel agent has your profile and your travel history so they can do what they can to accommodate your preferences.  But moreover, if you have specific special needs such as a diet limitation or a need for accommodation due to a disability, it will be a travel agent that sees to it that your needs are provided for and you are well taken care of on the road.
  • Complications.  If your travel itinerary involves making connections with other business partners who are traveling from diverse offices, complex travel schedules and itinerary challenges that just cannot be described to the generic screens of an online travel service, you can explain these complications to your travel agent and they can work with other travel agents working to organize the meeting and see to it that your itinerary meets your requirements.

While the online travel services do provide a valuable and affordable alternative to the general traveling public, it is easy to notice their limitations if you are trying to book a trip that is tricky or if you have specific needs that the screens do not anticipate.  That is why working with a human travel agent guarantees that this travel professional will dedicate themselves to the task of making sure your trip works to your specifications and that you get to your destination ready to conduct business and be successful in your achieving your goals.

5 Common Techniques For Getting Luxury Discount Travel

The majority of people are not financially well off, but would like to be. Sometimes you can temporarily live like the “rich and famous” and enjoy the excitement of luxury travel.

So, as the saying goes, if you have champagne taste on a beer budget, let’s get going.
We’ll explore a few techniques on how you can enjoy luxury travel on a budget.

A laid out plan will be the most important aspect of obtaining luxury deals and accommodations without spending any more money than a lower rated resort. Travel in style with the following strategies.

Technique #1. Find Affinity And Loyalty Programs.

Capitalize on the flexibility and leverage you have in the competitive travel industry. Many companies want your business and offer lots of incentives to compete for your travel funds and to keep you as a customer.

For example, if you provide a service, you typically look out for your best customers and give extra perks to keep them coming back. These companies reward travelers who remain loyal to them with unadvertised specials and extras. This is the general idea behind frequent traveler programs and such.

Technique #2. Select The Right Travel Specialists To Work With.

As you’re researching destinations and comparing pricing online, note that all online travel companies aren’t equal. Lots of agencies have preferred status with suppliers who can in turn pass on these deals to you.

Again, this is just like we talked about earlier, only this time, the companies and suppliers are getting the great deals to pass on to you.

Technique #3. Turn Problems Into Opportunities.

Choose a few top-notch companies that you would like to use over and over again so that you can obtain loyalty bonuses and discounts. If they make an error, take advantage of the situation in a professional manner, but don’t take advantage of the situation.

These companies desire to maintain consistent levels of quality and rely on their customers to provide constructive feedback and satisfaction/dissatisfaction. If a representative is not willing to work with you, ask around to find someone who will.

Technique #4. Just Ask.

One of the easiest and simplest techniques you can do is to just ask. All they can say is no. Sometimes a special occasion may be enough to get you an unexpected surprise. Simply do it and don’t be afraid to ask.

You can simply ask for an upgraded vehicle, accommodation, or airline seat. It doesn’t hurt and you’re no worse off than you were before you asked. In other words, you have nothing to lose, and everything to gain.

Technique #5. Timing Is Everything.

Keep this in mind that travel is at it’s most expensive during holidays and other peak times of the year. However, if the time of year to travel is important to you, such as a special event you’ll be attending, traveling during major holidays or school vacations, and if you desire to get luxury travel for the best value you want, try to book as far in advance as possible.

Don’t forget the power of the internet. It can be one of your most effective tools in researching destinations, while getting luxury travel at bargain prices.

Have fun and happy travels!

“No! We’re Not There Yet!”- Surviving the Family Road Trip

According to the U.S. Department of Energy, travel is increasing every year and it is predicted that even more people will be on the road this year. Traveling with the family can be a great way to spend quality time together but it can also be stressful. Increase your chances of a fun, stress-free and safe vacation by following these simple tips:

• Beat boredom with child’s play. “Are we there yet?” What is it about these words that go straight to a parent’s spine? Keep kids entertained with some great car games that make getting where you’re going half the fun. Magnetic board games, portable video games and classics such as the license plate game, “I Spy” and the alphabet game will keep energetic kids in good spirits and actively engaged no matter how long the journey.

• Stop smart. When stopping at rest stops, make sure it’s just your kids getting back in the car and not the bacteria and germs they pick up in the bathroom. Bring products that keep your family healthy, such as hand sanitizer and Lysol Disinfectant Spray, to kill rest stop germs that can be transferred from the rest room to the surfaces in your car. To prepare for those inevitable spills and “oops” moments, keep paper towels or wet wipes handy.

• Eat right. Sure, you can stop at the rest stop for food-along with the thousands of other people on the road. But roadside dining doesn’t always offer the healthiest choices. Instead, keep your family’s bellies full with snacks that you can eat right in the car, such as trail mix, string cheese, fruit roll-ups, bottles of water, and fruit. These easy, convenient snacks are yummy (for them) and healthy (for you).

• Keep everyone happy. Pick a destination that has fun activities for all ages. While it’s tempting to head for the place that the kids will love, make sure there’s something for mom, dad and grandma to do as well. Some top family vacation spots that offer something for everyone include Orlando, Fla., Anaheim, Calif., Williamsburg, Va., Hershey, Pa. and Yellowstone National Park.

Family vacations can be chaotic but immensely rewarding. And if you keep these tips in mind, you can help ensure safe and happy travels-at least until you get there.

When stopping at rest stops, make sure it’s just your kids getting back in the car and not germs they pick up in the bathroom.

7 Tips For Successful Travel

We all travel a lot more now than our ancestors did. We travel all over the world and only think of the jet lag, and not the vast distances we cover. Our world has become smaller and more reachable. And this is a good thing. It helps us to understand different cultures, different people with different ways of living and working. But there are a few essentials you should always check before setting off.

  1. It may seem obvious, but many people don’t bother to find out the most basic things about the country they will travel to. You should do this to avoid surprise or disappointment.
  2. Check on the kind of weather you will find where you are going. If you live in Florida and travel to northern Greenland, you will be in for a shock unless you know that much colder weather is normal there.
  3. Be sure that the medical and general insurance coverage you have (you do have, don’t you?) is adequate for your destination.
  4. Do you have all the paperwork and documentation required for your trip? If not, get it!
  5. Are there any diseases you will need immunization against where you are going? Check and find out before getting exposed.
  6. If you plan on driving in the place you intend to travel to, check that you have an acceptable licence. You may need an international driving licence, for example. And are you familiar with the local driving laws where you are going? If not, become familiar, fast.
  7. Finally, the most obvious one of all: is your passport up to date? And if not, do you have enough time to renew it before you set off? You’d be surprised, amazed even, at how many people get this one wrong.